Experiment Takes A Bite Out Of Peanut Allergies

Updated Monday March 16, 2009 -- 9:40
By: Barclay Pollak

Good news for parents whose children suffer from peanut allergies.

There may be a cure.

That's according to researchers at Duke University and Arkansas Children's Hospital.

For the last few years researchers gave children who were allergic to peanuts small doses of peanut protein.

Now four of those are able to eat peanuts with no allergic reaction at all.

That's great news for parents like Sheree' Godwin of Madison who has three kids with peanut allergies.

She says it could make things much easier in her house.

" It's not just, ' oh I can't just give them a peanut butter sandwich.' It's when I take them to school I have to prepare the school for that. I have to prepare Sunday school, play dates, birthday parties, everything. "

The research is on going.

Those involved with the project say parents and doctors should not try any version of this study on their own.

But if you would like more information on food allergies... the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin is a good place to start.

For the link, log on to our web channel, nbc 15 dot com, and click on newslinks.


Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 --- 12:25 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A handful of children once severely allergic to peanuts now can eat them without worry. Scientists have retrained their immune systems so they're allergy-free.

It's a small study and doctors stress not to try this at home -- it could spark a deadly reaction. But scientists at Duke University and Arkansas Children's Hospital gave children very tiny amounts of peanut flour daily for over two years.

Gradually the kids became less sensitive. So far, five show no remaining sign of the allergy.

Larger studies are beginning to see if the treatment works for more people and how long it lasts. But it marks new hope for the nearly 2 million Americans who are allergic to peanuts.

The findings were announced Sunday at a meeting of allergy specialists in Washington.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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